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Featured Eyesore of the Month

September 2014

James Howard Kunstler : September 3, 2014 11:58 am : Eyesore of the Month

 

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Behold the new gerbil cage for children in Queensbury, New York. Notice that there are no children there. The reason: it is a completely unrewarding place to play. In fact, it was designed not for children but for lawyers in this lawsuit-happy land. In attempting remove every possible hazard to health and safety, they have succeeded in making it boring, de-natured, and quite spectacularly ugly. The chain link fence is a nice touch. It prepares children for life on Cellblock D.

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Check out the black asphaltic-rubberized “play surface.” That’s really inviting, isn’t it? Like the LaBrea tar pit. I wonder how hot it gets on that pad at, say, 4:00 o’clock of a September afternoon.

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This shot gives you a nice sense of interface between the “facility” and the stuff around it. Parking-lot quality! The sign contains all the legal disclaimers and prohibitions — among which: children must be accompanied by an adult. How sad is that?
Thanks to Marisa Muratori for the nomination.

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Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist

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13 Comments »

September 2014

James Howard Kunstler : September 3, 2014 11:58 am : Eyesore of the Month
  Behold the new gerbil cage for children in Queensbury, New York. Notice that there are no children there. The reason: it is a completely unrewarding place to play. In fact, it was designed not for children but for lawyers in this lawsuit-happy land. In attempting remove every possible hazard to health and safety, they more »

August 2014

James Howard Kunstler : August 4, 2014 10:12 am : Eyesore of the Month
  Behold, the latest addition to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass, by architect Tadao Ando. Add to your collection of sleek Modernist bowling trophies. The world has had enough of minimalism on steroids; it just doesn’t know it yet. It’s ironic, for sure, arising as it does out of such a maximalist culture more »

July 2014

James Howard Kunstler : July 2, 2014 10:35 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the proposed new addition to the suite of glass boxes on Granville Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. O Canada! Are you trying to out-do the stupidity and vulgarity of your neighbor to the south? Apart from the obvious perversity of cantilevering over the  historic Province House — an early legislative building — note the more »

June 2014

James Howard Kunstler : June 4, 2014 9:43 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the Aqua Tower by architect Jeanne Gang, Chicago. Of course, the skyscraper is an obsolete building form because the ones we’ve already got will never be renovated in the coming era of resource and capital scarcity. But that doesn’t stop the developers and architects from creating new ones — especially at this climax moment more »

May 2014

James Howard Kunstler : May 6, 2014 1:02 pm : Eyesore of the Month
     WTF ????  Behold the proposed  new public artwork for the Boulder, Colorado, Library. Which part is the “art?” you may ask yourself. Why, the grand affirmation Yes! Straight out of the Nike advertising playbook, this totemic gesture informs all Boulderites (Bouldarians? Boulderopolitans? Boulderholics?) that yes! they can… er… what…? Cross the six-laner safely? more »

April 2014

James Howard Kunstler : April 2, 2014 11:31 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the new Emerson College “complex” (s0-called) for television, film, and advertising production studies on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, designed by Thom Mayne of the firm Morphosis, which has been reviled on this site before for its techno-narcissistic archi-stunts. This one is as if the Jolly Green Giant  dropped a crate of seltzer bottles more »

March 2014

James Howard Kunstler : March 2, 2014 9:59 am : Eyesore of the Month
     Behold the new Health Center on Russell Street in Missoula, Montana — a demonstration that Murphy’s Law rules absolutely in American architecture and town planning. This is the back of the building; the front is oriented to the interior of the block where the parking is (don’t expect Happy Motoring to continue ten more »

February 2014

James Howard Kunstler : February 1, 2014 11:03 am : Eyesore of the Month
Woe and alack a day! A sign of the times in a hyper-turbo-techno-industrial economy rocking in the throes of meltdown, a.k.a. compressive deflationary contraction. Lo, what was once a dollar is now seventy-five cents. In another month, it’ll be fifty cents and perhaps they can sign up the celebrity “Fitty Cent” to shill for them. more »

January 2014

James Howard Kunstler : January 3, 2014 11:22 am : Eyesore of the Month
     Behold the stylish wastewater treatment plan in Durand, Wisconsin, 30 miles downstream from Eau Claire on the Chippewa River. Notice the interesting placement of the historical marker billboard with the blank planes of the wall, the single window, and the decorative logo — all very Zen gardenish. Of course, the real love was more »

December 2013

James Howard Kunstler : December 3, 2013 12:05 pm : Eyesore of the Month

Behold this triple-header of 80-plus-story condo towers designed by Toronto hometown boy Frank Gehry for his place of birth (he’s lived in Los Angeles for decades).

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